UCL Faculty of Laws


UCL Laws pays tribute to Sir Henry Brooke

31 January 2018


UCL Faculty of Laws is saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Henry Brooke, former Lord Justice of Appeal, Vice President of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal and Chairman of the Law Commission of England and Wales.

Sir Henry was a leading figure in the legal community and a champion in promoting access to justice. He served as vice-chair of the Bach Commission, helping to draft the commission's widely praised The Right to Justice report, and used his widely read blog and twitter feed to challenge government cuts to legal aid.  He was also instrumental in establishing the free online case and legal document database, BAILLII.

Sir Henry was also a good friend to the UCL Laws Faculty, and in 2014 he donated his personal working papers to the UCL Judicial Institute, becoming the first judge to help establish the UK’s only Judicial Archive. His papers have been curated by Dr John Sorabji, UCL Laws Senior Teaching Fellow.

Paying tribute, Dr Sorabji said:

‘Sir Henry was one of England and Wales finest lawyers and judges. But he was much more than that. Throughout his career, he worked tirelessly to improve access to justice. Whether the issue was free access to judgments or, latterly, fair access to legal aid, promoting judicial training working with the Slynn Foundation, or promoting the benefits of mediation, he was at the forefront.

His work leading the computerisation of the courts was ahead of its time and is now on the verge of being fully realised. And he was, of course, an example to all legal bloggers. On a personal level, he was unfailingly kind and generous; a pleasure to work with. A true champion of justice, he will be greatly missed.’

View Sir Henry’s blog

Read The Right to Justice report